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The Oil Fields of Russia and the Russian Petroleum Industry:

a practical handbook of the exploration, exploitation, and management of Russian oil properties, including notes on the origin of petroleum in Russia, a description of the theory and practice of liquid fuel, and a translation of the rules and regulations concerning Russian oil properties.

London: Crosby Lockwood and Son, 1904 Stock Code: 120057
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Significant study of the Russian oil busness

First edition of this handsomely produced and important study by Arthur Beeby Thompson (1873-1968), who has been described as the "Father of the Oil Industry" (John Schmidt, Growing up in the Oil Patch, 1989, p. 127). His involvement with various oil projects went hand-in-hand with important hydrogeological work in Gibraltar, Canada and on the Gold Coast; during the Great War he was attached to the headquarters staff of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (1915-19). In this last capacity he "documented the relationship between geology and military water supply in the greatest detail" (J. D. Mather ed., 200 Years of British Hydrogeology, 2004, p. 169). It is this attention to detail that informs The Oil Fields of Russia, an exhaustive survey - including geological, economic and engineering information - that centres on the Balakhany-Sabunchi-Ramana and Bibi-Eibat oil fields, near Baku, in modern day Azerbaijan. Foreign capital dominated the oil industry of pre-revolutionary Russia and Beeby Thompson was chief engineer and manager of the European Petroleum Company's Russian oil properties. "Beeby Thompson, who went out to work with the European Petroleum Company in 1898, regarded Baku as the 'nursery of British oilmen'" (Geoffrey Jones, The State and the Emergence of the British Oil Industry, 1981, p. 56). Most of the excellent photographs published here were taken by Beeby Thompson. Library Hub locates copies at just five British and Irish institutional libraries (BL, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Scotland); well represented in international holdings but decidedly uncommon commercially.

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Large octavo. Original dark blue cloth over bevelled boards, gilt lettered spine and front cover.


Frontispiece, 97 illustrations (a number full-page or plates, mainly from photographs, 31 tables, large folding coloured map in pocket at end (Balakhany-Saboontchy-Romany-Zabrat and Bibi-Eibat oil fields).


Spine lightly sunned, a few light abrasions to covers, one or two thumb marks on prelims. A very good copy, with the 4pp. of advertisements at the end.


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